English Professor Named New UW Faculty Athletics Representative

Feb. 8, 2006


Alyson Hagy, a member of the University of Wyoming English faculty, a published author, and a lifelong athlete, has been named by UW President Tom Buchanan as the university's faculty athletics representative (FAR) for a three-year term. Hagy replaces Janet Contstantinides, who will retire from university service this summer.

As FAR, Hagy will serve as liaison between the UW president's office and faculty and the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, verify the eligibility and academic progress of student athletes, chair the university's Athletic Planning Committee, act as liaison with the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, assist in institutional certification and recertification processes, attend Mountain West Conference and NCAA meetings, and participate in investigations of NCAA and conference rules violations.

Alyson Hagy

"Alyson was an easy choice," says Buchanan. "She was an accomplished student-athlete with a deep interest in a wide range of athletics and a deeper interest in academic integrity. I know she'll do a great job as faculty athletics representative."

Hagy, an associate professor of English, has taught at UW since 1996. She came to UW from the University of Michigan, where she earned her master of fine arts (MFA) degree in 1985. The author of the novel "Keeneland" and several collections of short fiction, Hagy teaches creative writing to undergraduate and graduate students and is a mainstay of UW's new MFA in creative writing program. She also team-teaches with UW's printmaking faculty member Mark Ritchie on the art of the book. She has a novel due for publication in 2007, dealing with the sheep ranching country of Carbon County.

Growing up in Virginia, Hagy played basketball and tennis and participated in high school gymnastics. She was a four-year tennis letter winner at Williams College, in Williamstown, Mass. She describes herself as a "big college sports fan," closely following UW football, men's and women's basketball, and tennis.

While a fan, Hagy says she became particularly interested in the relationship between academics and athletics while at the University of Michigan. She says football coach Bo Schembechler's years were a model of "keeping players eligible," but not of academic excellence. In the same vein, she wrote a 2003 profile for the New York Times magazine about basketball player Chris Webber's legal difficulties in Michigan's then-"about $53 million business of amateur athletics."

"Colleges are places to educate people," says Hagy. "UW has a fantastic reputation for meshing academics and athletics well, and I look forward to being part of it." Expounding on that statement, Hagy notes Buchanan's confidence in UW Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Gary Barta, particularly in terms of academic management.

Hagy says she looks forward to her term as FAR, but says, "No one replaces Janet." Constantinides will be a hard act to follow, having served as FAR for 10 years and as interim athletics director between the tenures of Lee Moon and Gary Barta. Hagy notes that Constantinides hired her into the English faculty and immediately invited her to a UW basketball game.

"I am very excited about working with Alyson," says Barta. "Her experience as a former student-athlete and her passion for the University of Wyoming provide for a great fit. Alyson has big shoes to fill replacing Janet Constantinides, but I know she'll be up to the challenge."

"I hope people will be patient with me," says Hagy. "Janet predates the forming of the Mountain West Conference. She has national recognition and respect. I'm glad I'll have six months to apprentice with her."